As I sat, sipping my English breakfast tea, staring at North Carolina’s beautiful Atlantic Ocean last month, I couldn’t help but wonder if the ocean could be my muse as some writing deadlines approached. But, when I sat down to write, my mind was clear. I couldn't write a thing. And, over two weeks later, I still feel the same way as I try to give you an inside look at our family vacation.
I certainly don’t want to bore you with our glorious family vacation days at Topsail Beach, where the kids played hard on the beach, I read an entire novel and enjoyed some beach happy hours, and bedtimes were probably way too late. Besides, every kid photo on the beach starts to look the same after awhile, and you've already seen some of the best photos of Topsail Beach as soon as we got back in another post.
As with any family vacation, there were some not so glamorous times, too. Such as when my 6-year-old woke every morning before everyone else and slammed his bedroom door. He would wake his aunt, uncle, and cousins, especially the cousin sharing a room with him. But no one really cared because a fabulous outdoor playground with waves and a sandbox were a mere few steps outside our door. We also missed a few spots for sunscreen. But that’s nothing new there.
The dynamics did change in this house on the ocean this year. For the first time, it was a house filled with elementary and middle-school-aged children, except for our one little one. She kept up with the older cousins and brother like a pro, though. She was entertained; therefore, our week at the beach truly felt like a vacation for my husband and me.
We also had a great family dinner at the Breezeway Restaurant, home of the best hushpuppies I've tasted in a long time. It was a momentous family occasion. All NINE of us went out to eat in a restaurant.
I threw bedtime rules out the window, too. Baby Diva was playing miniature golf and eating ice cream with the big kids at 10 pm on a Friday night. She loved it.
I slipped out solo to my favorite little bookstore, and coffee shop one morning. It's now a wine bar at night, but we didn't make it back for that this year.
So, back to my question. Can the ocean be a muse?
The truth is that I didn’t feel like writing one sentence while at the beach. Instead, I heard the beach calling my name. It was time to shut the laptop and connect with nature’s beauty, instead of the Internet. I must have used some good sunscreen though because I'm just as white now as I was when I arrived on the coast, but that's OK.
So for my week at the beach, I don’t think the ocean was my muse for well-written prose, but it certainly helped me find my inner Zen.
The week went by much too quickly. After we packed up our things, we had our usual yearly breakfast at the Beach Shop and Grill where I dined on the best cheese and leek quiche I've ever tasted.
We stocked up on new Topsail Beach T-shirts, and started our journey home.
It was a great vacation. As soon as we entered our driveway in Raleigh, we knew the fun had ended.
You won't believe it when I tell you that a deer died on our sidewalk while we were away. Not sure how, but it did. It was a stenchy mess.
That was some welcome home, and it certainly made us miss the beautiful times we had on the Atlantic Ocean.
How does the ocean impact you? Are you spending any time at the ocean this year?